Viking's ship-building boom continues

By Michelle Baran
The number of 190-passenger Longships that Viking will launch next year continues to creep up. Another two newbuilds will bring the total to 10 in 2013.

Viking did not broadly announce the two additional ships, quietly providing the information on the company’s website.

The two new Longships will be the Viking Baldur and Viking Magni, which will start sailing on Aug. 27 and Sept. 10, respectively.

The ships will sail Viking's 15-day Grand European Tour between Amsterdam and Budapest. The Baldur will also sail the eight-day Rhine Getaway from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, and the Magni will also sail the eight-day Danube Waltz from Passau, Germany, to Budapest.

In July, having already taken the river cruise world by storm with its plans to build an unprecedented 12 ships in Europe this year and next, Viking ordered two additional Viking Longships for 2013, for a total of 14 new ships in two years. Now, that number is 16.

The first six of those ships launched this year, beginning with a dual christening in Amsterdam in March of the Viking Odin and Idun.

The next eight are tentatively scheduled to launch in March 2013.

A defining feature of the Longships is an off-center corridor that allows Viking to maximize cabin space for a total of 190 passengers and a squared-off hull that makes room for Viking to create an additional indoor/outdoor Aquavit Lounge at the bow of the ship.

All the Longships are 443 feet long and have 95 cabins.

Like their 14 sister ships, the Baldur and Magni will have two Explorer Suites at 445 square feet each; seven Veranda Suites with a full balcony off the living room and a French balcony off the bedroom; 39 Veranda Staterooms with full-size balconies; and 22 French Balcony Staterooms.

There will also be heated bathroom floors and Sony high-definition TVs in the staterooms.

Viking is building its Longships with solar panels and energy-efficient hybrid engines that reduce vibrations.

Follow Michelle Baran on Twitter @mbtravelweekly. 
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